Openbank, the 100% digital bank of Banco Santander, has launched its pilot project in the Netherlands, within the internationalization plan that the bank announced last April and which includes the bank’s entry into ten new markets.
The first one was Germany, where Openbank has been immersed in the testing period for three months, with a format known as ‘friends & family’, which was the one that was used at the time in Spain and has just started in the Netherlands.
As explained by the Banco Santander subsidiary , users in the country can already access the bank’s website in the Netherlands ( www.openbank.nl ) and sign up for a waiting list to be customers of the bank. Then, the entity will progressively transfer groups of users to the pilot project to test and correct possible errors.
In the case of Germany, it is estimated that, once the testing stage is over, it will begin to operate normally and for the entire public in the coming autumn. On the other hand, the tests that have just started in the Netherlands will probably be extended until the end of the year, although the deadlines will be determined as the project progresses.
With regard to expansion plans in Europe, the launch of ‘friends & family’ is also planned in Portugal this year and, although there is still no timetable for this, the process of entry into Portugal may require less adaptation time than in other countries. , because the presence of Banco Santander in Portugal could facilitate the process of adaptation and customer acquisition.
The Strategic Plan of the Santander Group includes the entry of Openbank into ten new markets in the medium term . Recently, the CEO of the online bank, Ezequiel Szafir, also advanced that the entity is working for its landing in Mexico and Argentina in the year 2020.
In Argentina, the process is somewhat more advanced, as the entity has already appointed Federico Procaccini as CEO in the country.
The group’s forecasts point out that, once this internationalization plan for Openbank is undertaken , the online bank will double its client base, from the 1.2 million that it now has in Spain alone. At the end of the first quarter of the year, it had a balance of customer deposits of 8,809 million euros, 22.3% more than a year earlier.